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Ultraprecise Photometry from Space: The MOST Microsat Mission

  • J. M. Matthews (a1), R. Kuschnig (a1), G. A. H. Walker (a1), J. Pazder (a1), R. Johnson (a1), K. Skaret (a1), E. Shkolnik (a1), T. Lanting (a1), J. P. Morgan (a1) and S. Sidhu (a1)...

Abstract

MOST (Microvariability & Oscillations of STars / Microvariabilite et Oscillations STellaire) is a Canadian microsatellite mission intended to detect rapid photometric oscillations at the μmag level in stars brighter than V ∼ 6. This limit is set primarily by the 15-cm aperture of the MOST telescope. The small size and mass of the MOST bus (similar to a suitcase) sets a limit on the pointing accuracy of about ±10 arcsec. To achieve the required photometric precision under these conditions, the MOST focal plane features a set of Fabry microlenses which can spread the target starlight into a pupil image of the telescope onto a CCD. The large size (∼1600 pixels) and positional stability (±0.1 pixel) of these images makes MOST insensitive to CCD flat-fielding errors. MOST is currently on schedule to be launched in early 2002.

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Copyright

References

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Michel, E., Baglin, A., Barge, P., et al. 2000, in these proceedings, p. 69
Kjeldsen, H., Bedding, T.R., & Christensen-Dalsgaard, J. 2000, in these proceedings, p. 73
Matthews, J.M., Kuschnig, R., Walker, G.A.H., et al. 1999, http: //www.astro.ubc.ca/MOST/

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